As a business owner, you wear many hats. When it comes to the processes and smooth running of your business, you have a lot to take care of, and cybercrime may not be high on your list. If you think you aren’t at risk of a cyberattack, you’re not alone. Many business owners don’t consider the importance of cybersecurity, which puts them at risk of a data breach.
Consider all the information that your business houses. From bank details to client contact information and employee records, this data mustn’t fall into the wrong hands. A data breach can have substantial negative implications for your business, including legal and financial.
How can cyberattacks occur?
There are many different methods that hackers will use to infiltrate your business data. These include:
- Viruses and worms
- Email spam
- Social engineering scams
- Zero-day software attacks
The following tips will help you keep your business cyber safe.
1. Educate yourself and your employees
The most important way that you can keep your business cyber safe is through education. Everyone working within your business needs to understand the importance of cybersecurity and the implications involved with a data breach. Knowing how to identify potential threats and implementing safe daily practices is the first line of defense against a cyberattack.
While you may have proper security software in place, if you’re employees are unaware of scams and dangerous pop-ups, then your business will still be vulnerable. Phishing scams are widespread and a threat that should be understood by all those in your company. A seemingly reputable company will contact you with a fraudulent email and ask for sensitive information, such as passwords. Educating your team about these threats will help you to prevent scammers from infiltrating your business.
2. Passwords and two-factor authentication
Password protection is there for a reason, and it’s critical that you use them to their full potential. Aim to use a different password for every platform, especially if they contain valuable data. Email accounts, banking, accounting, and social platforms should all have strong passwords that include a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Hackers have ways of decoding passwords, and if they decode one, you don’t want them to have the key to everything.
If a platform offers the option for two-factor authentication, use it. Though it takes a few extra seconds to sign in, it can save you from a data breach. You will need to choose two different authorization methods in order to log in. Usually, one will be a password, with the other being via a telephone number or email account.
3. Update software and anti-virus protection
There’s a reason that software and anti-virus protection is constantly being updated. Hackers are always finding new ways to infiltrate software and override anti-virus protection. Luckily, the software and anti-virus companies also create new updates to combat them. Make sure that all the software that your business uses is up to date. This especially applies to your anti-virus or firewall software.
Anti-virus protection is an added expense for your business, but it’s vital to the safety of your business, client, and employee data. Viruses, Trojan Horses, or worms can find their way into your systems and delete files, extract data, and even use your computer to attack another.
4. Hire a trusted IT professional
Even if you think your business has a bullet-proof cybersecurity system, it never hurts to get a second opinion. An IT professional can audit your processes in order to find any holes or vulnerable access points for hackers. An expert will be up to date on current cyber threats and how to identify and prevent them. Companies like Capstone IT services offer network and data security systems that will protect you from any potential risks. They are the best point of contact if you do become the victim of a data breach. They will know exactly what needs to be done and can resolve the issue quickly.
5. Back up your data
If your business becomes the target of a ransomware attack, you may lose everything. Most ransomware will ask that you pay to get your data back, and if not, it’s gone forever. Backing up all your data will ensure that you’re protected if you do face a data breach. There are many ways in which you can easily back up your business data. The easiest way is to swap to a cloud storage system. It will encrypt your information and back it up automatically without you needing to think about it. You can also back up onto external hard drives and USB sticks, but just be sure that they are not carrying viruses of their own.